Dinah Can't Do Without Her Roland TR-8s

Toronto-based artist Dinah told us about the Yaeji uses for the Roland TR-8s.

Dinah: A few years ago I attended a residency for women electronic music producers. For show and tell one day I brought a Yaeji song and asked if anyone knew what gear was used to make the beats. That was the first time I learned about sequencers (better late than never!). 

I did some research and all roads seemed to lead to the Roland TR-8s. I saved up money for a while and finally got to bring one home to my studio. I’ve been deeply in love with it ever since. Most of the beats on Dinah! were made with the 8s. 

I have a Roland DR-880 that I’ve found useful, and Logic Loops have been good to me, but I end up spending hours or days messing with them to try to make them do what I want. And often they won’t, no matter how hard I try. The 8s is so playable and customizable that it feels more like a musical instrument than a machine. I come to making electronic music through being a singer, so it fits that I would appreciate a beat-making tool that is as musical as possible. 

The samples are awesome—some really trippy and industrial stuff that is right up my alley. And you can make sounds that are really subtle and quiet or totally stretch out your mains. My only complaint is the total lack of triple-meter content. I work in 3/4 and 6/8 quite a bit and end up having to make my own beats from scratch when I do. 

Dinah's album Dinah! is out from February 23.

Photo by Janet Kimber